PEI

Those for and against Angus Drive access road have their say again 

Residents both for and against a proposal to construct a new access road onto Angus Drive from St. Peters Road took their concerns back to Charlottetown city council Tuesday night. 

‘I understand the frustration from the residents’

This graphic shows the plans for a roundabout at Mel's Convenience Store on St. Peters Road this summer. (CBC News Graphics)

Residents both for and against a proposal to construct a new access road onto Angus Drive from St. Peters Road took their concerns back to Charlottetown city council Tuesday night. 

Earlier this month, council voted to take a second look at the access road, which is part of sweeping changes in the East Royalty neighbourhood. 

The province initially planned three roundabouts. But it said the central one, at Angus Drive, was too close to the current entrance of the busy Mel's convenience store to be safe. Access to the store would have to be from a new road about 50 metres down Angus Drive. 

Residents complained that it would create too much traffic on their street, and council rejected the plan.

'It's just unbearable'

The province countered with a plan for just two roundabouts.

A median would then be built between them, preventing left hand turns in or out of Mel's, as well as in or out of Angus Drive. In light of that proposal, council voted to reconsider its earlier decision, a move that sent the issue back for another public meeting Tuesday night.

Paula Redmond said the proposed changes to the quiet residential area will hurt the quality of life for the residents. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Paula Redmond lives on the East Royalty Road, and her parents have lived on Angus Drive for 47 years. She believes the proposed changes to the quiet residential area will hurt the quality of life for the residents. 

"I don't know how many times we have to come back and say the same thing over and over and over and the stress that these residents have been put through, it's just unbearable, unbearable to watch," said Redmond.  

"I understand the safety, there is a safety issue, they're say there is only one way around it, I believe there's other options."

'I don't think that makes sense'

But there were a number of residents who said they support the plan to funnel traffic onto Angus Drive if it allows for the construction of that third roundabout.

Bill Whelan said he's worried about plans for a median that will divide his community if the roundabout is not built. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Bill Whelan, who lives on St. Peters Road, said he understands the concerns of those who live on Angus Drive, but he's also worried about plans for a median that will divide his community if the roundabout is not built.

"Without the roundabout at Angus Drive, it seems like the only other option that's been put forward is that there would be a 1.2 kilometre median that would separate the two sides of East Royalty," said Whelan. 

"I don't think that makes sense in the long-term for developing, building, establishing a vibrant community."

There were a dozen or so people who spoke during the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, with opinions almost evenly split. The city also received a series of written submissions, which were made public during the meeting. Those letters also showed how divided the area is over the proposed changes. 

'I won't do that'

During the meeting, Stephen Yeo, the province's chief engineer, was asked about different proposals that may address the safety issues other than a roundabout.

Dan MacIsaac, the owner of Mel’s, said his business is looking for the 'safest possible option' for residents and customers. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

But Yeo maintained a roundabout is the safest option.

"You can't go with the second safest option," said Yeo. "I won't do that." 

Dan MacIsaac, the owner of Mel's, also made a presentation during the meeting. 

MacIsaac said his business is looking for the "safest possible option" for residents and customers. 

Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown said he understands residents on both sides of the issue are frustrated. 

"This issue has been with the neighbourhood since 2014," said Brown. "Now, it's back to council for reconsideration."  

'We'll be bombarded with noise pollution'

That reconsideration will happen June 28.

Laura Morgan lives on Angus Drive and said she can see Mel's convenience store from her home. She said the province is taking all the safety issues in the area and putting them on her street. 

"Having all those cars coming that much closer to my property, we'll be bombarded with noise pollution, with light pollution," said Morgan.

"To turn a residential community into a thru-way for a convenience store, liquor store, restaurant, gas bar for the benefit of the business owner seems backwards and such an unbalanced way to approach community building and neighbourhood building." 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wayne Thibodeau

Prince Edward Island

Wayne Thibodeau is a reporter/editor with CBC Prince Edward Island. He has worked as a reporter, editor, photographer and video journalist in print, digital and TV for more than 20 years. He can be reached at Wayne.Thibodeau@CBC.ca

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